Board of Directors
Wendy Cox. Chair
Wendy Cox is an attorney and non-profit fund development consultant. She was a trial lawyer for many years in Minnesota and after moving to Florida began representing foster kids in dependency court as a pro-bono attorney. Many foster kids have parents who have been in jail or prison and that is where she saw firsthand the extent to which the incarceration of an individual impacts their children.
Because of her interest in criminal justice issues, a friend introduced Wendy to Barbara Richards who shared the mission and work of Project 180. That was seven years ago. Since then, Wendy has been an active volunteer and financial supporter. “Providing people with the resources and encouragement they need to live their best life is what motivates my commitment to this work. People face challenges in life and to turn things around, they need someone to believe in them and help them design and implement their roadmap to success. That promotes real opportunity for change which impacts individuals, their families and entire communities. That is what Project 180 does.”
In 2006 Wendy and Jim, her husband of 35 years, moved from Minnesota to Florida to get away from a lifetime of shoveling snow. They have both recently retired. When not volunteering for local non-profits, Wendy enjoys yoga, fly-fishing, hiking and other outdoor activities that do not require a winter jacket.
David Shuel. Vice Chair
David was born in Indianapolis and graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science in business management. He spent most of his adult life in Chicago where he raised his two children. There, David ran the Chicago location of his family business, HP Products, a full-service industrial supply distribution company with over eight hundred employees. When HP sold out to Ferguson Supply in 2014, David moved his family to Sarasota and purchased his own business, Beneva Flowers and Plantscapes.
It was at Beneva Flowers that David learned about Project 180. David had hired a man who, unbeknownst to him, was a Project 180 resident/returning citizen. The employee shared how Project 180 had impacted his life. David immediately reached out to Project 180’s CEO, Barbara Richards, to see how he could help make a positive impact in the Sarasota community through the organization. Barbara invited David and his partner, Leah, to have dinner with the guys at Keifer’s House, one of the Project 180 residences. They were so moved by the experience that David called Barbara the next day and asked how he could get involved to support Project 180’s good work.
David joined the board shortly after and has become deeply involved in the organization. He has since hired his third employee through Project 180 and has found that being a Second Chance employer is a great investment in his business.